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Video Game / Monster Bash

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Monster Bash was a sidescrolling Platform Game, released by Apogee Software for the PC in 1993. The game stars 10-year-old Johnny Dash (Probably no relation to Johnny Cash) on a quest to rescue his puppy, Tex, from the evil Count Chuck, who plans to turn all the pets of the Day World into monsters. Armed with only a slingshot and an endless supply of rocks, Johnny must travel through 28 levels of undead horrors.

The first episode of the game can be downloaded for free at Apogee's official website. No relation to the pinball machine Monster Bash or any virtual re-creations of it, nor to the coin-op game Monster Bash (1982).


This work contains examples of:

  • A.I. Breaker: The evil twin tries to jump around a lot if you crawl—but since he starts right under an overhang to make sure you walk through his puddle, if you immediately crouch and shoot at him rapidly you can knock off most of his health while he's bumping his head. He can also be tricked into jumping over you repeatedly until he dies.
  • All There in the Manual: The plot can be read from the title screen. Episodes 2 and 3 update it with summaries of the previous episodes.
  • Anti-Climax: Count Chuck constantly taunts Johnny throughout the game and dares him to come face him. When Johnny does though, the Count himself puts up no resistance and practically lets Johnny defeat him.
  • Asteroids Monster: The green sludge monsters split into smaller blobs after they are first hit.
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  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Cyclops boss takes more damage when shot in the eye, and Igor can only be hurt by shooting his head.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: The knife-tossing hands.
  • Badass Adorable: Johnny Dash himself.
  • Blessed with Suck: If a Medusa attacks you just as you die, a glitch will occur that causes you to respawn with no health as a "ghost". You can't touch anything as a ghost, so enemies and obstacles can't hurt you. Unfortunately, you can't pass through the exit either.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Acknowledged in the plot summary. It's specifically stated by the Bed Monster that Johnny's pocket would never go empty once he put the rock in it.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Johnny is a young boy and he uses a slingshot as his weapon.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Literally. See "Camera Abuse" below.
  • Camera Abuse: During Johnny's Idle Animation, he fires a rock at the camera, cracking the lens.
  • Captain Ersatz: Count Chuck obviously takes several elements from both Dracula and Count Orlok. Igor is pretty much directly lifted from the title character in The Fly (1958).
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: There are spinning ceiling fans which you have to shoot the motors of in order to stop them from hurting/killing you.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are among the more common mooks in the first episode. They make a return toward the end of the final episode.
  • Did You Just Gib Cthulhu with a Slingshot?
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: On the difficulty selection screen, there is an icon of Johnny flexing his muscles next to each choice, with bigger muscles on harder difficulties. The icon for Easy mode has him Flexing Those Non-Biceps.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The most common mook in the game. They appear in almost every level except for a couple of boss battles.
  • Evil Twin: Johnny's Nemesis, who appears once an episode.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The first several stages of the second episode.
  • Flying Broomstick: You get to fly a broomstick in one level. There are also moving platforms in the form of broomsticks.
  • Garnishing the Story: In the fourth stage, there is a sleeping dragon who will One-Hit Kill you unless you crawl past it. Just one dragon. In the middle of a horror setting.
  • Gorn: It's a toss-up as to whether this or Rise of the Triad has more blood.
  • Green Aesop: The "sawmill" stages have signs on the walls that read, "Down with rainforests!", "No recycling", and "Please litter!"
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The main stages could be considered Nintendo Hard, but most, if not all, of the bosses are pretty easy.
  • Helpful Mook: There are certain areas in the castle stage that can only be reached by getting a boost from the Ogres' Ground Pound attack. More common throughout the game are living boots that kick you across the stage. Sometimes they're meant to knock you into spikes, but other times they'll help you across gaps. And there are also living statues that briefly turn into solid platforms when you "kill" them.
  • Homage: One of the mooks in episode 3 is clearly an homage to the Xenomorph.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: These are many and varied.
  • Invisibility: Invisible men appear as mooks toward the end of the first episode. You can thankfully see them because they wear boots, gloves and a hat... but no clothes...
  • Laughably Evil: Count Chuck. From the first mention of his name to the final showdown with him, you'll have something to laugh about while you void yourself in terror.
  • Meaningless Lives: There's an extremely simple Cheat Code in the registered version to max out your lives literally any time you want, with no penalty whatsoever.
  • Mirror Boss: Once an Episode, Johnny's "nemesis" appears to challenge him.
  • Monster Mash: Duh.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first episode, not so much. But the next two... let's just say there's a reason why the registered version lets you gain extra lives whenever you want.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Johnny spends the entire adventure in his PJ's.
  • Plot Lock: All the pets must be rescued before moving on to the next level.
  • Pun-Based Title: The pun being on "Monster Mash."
  • Punny Name: The rat who occasionally appears to indicate which way to go and who authors the final level's hint message is named Frank Lloyd Rat.
  • Puzzle Boss: Count Chuck. Rather than just shooting him until he dies as you do with the rest of the bosses, you're supposed to destroy the talismans on his wings, and then aim for his feet.
  • Save the Princess: Subverted near the end of the second episode. The princess is a witch in disguise who tries to kill you when you reach her.
  • Sequel Hook: After his defeat, Count Chuck warns Johnny that while he may have won the battle, he hasn't yet won the war, then states that he has in-laws.
  • Shareware
  • Sophisticated as Hell: During Count Chuck's first appearance, he belittles Johnny, his insults becoming more and more crude until one is actually censored.
  • Standard Snippet: This being a monster-themed game, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is of course used.
  • Take That!: Johnny mentions living down the street from Jill of the Jungle, and instantly suspects her of the pet kidnappings when he finds out about it.
  • Taken for Granite: There are Medusa-like creatures in the second episode who can temporarily turn Johnny to stone.
  • Unique Enemy: The dragon in the fourth stage.
  • Unwinnable by Design: In episode 1 level 8, the level hints tell you that the triple shot weapon is "very helpful" for freeing pets. What they don't tell you is that there is one otherwise-unreachable pet that cannot be freed any other way. To make it more tantalising, that pet is near to another which can (just) be freed without a special weapon.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Wall Master: The hands that throw knives.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The monsters that show up on level 3-2 are unmistakably (and bafflingly) Xenomorphs.


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